I'm home from school, it's time to play Madden.
It's bed time? Oh, well can I at least watch the game until half time?
It's after half time? Oh... well, I wasn't tired. What's the score?
Can I watch a movie before bed? Okay, I'm going to watch the TO special online.
It's Sunday, I'll be in the living room playing catch and watching football.
Mom, did you know Vontae Davis went to school at Illinois?
Mom, did you know Peyton Manning plays tomorrow?
Welcome to my world. I've lost my little boy to football. Sure, he's always liked it, but over the last year he's become more and more invested in every aspect of the game. Husband gets tired of answering his questions, I think, but I think it's adorable that he wants to know everything he can. And of course, trying to be just like his dad, he has his little heart set on being a wide receiver. I'm still working on convincing him that it would be much more fun to be a corner, and he told me he had a lot of fun playing safety during flag football, so maybe I'll end up with a rockstar defensive back after all. With one year left until he can play true youth football (are there even any 3rd/4th leagues around here still?), I can't imagine how the obsession will grow.
One of the things that has come up more and more frequently in the news, though, is the safety issue that comes with football. I've had several facebook friends mention that they would never let their son play. High school teams are declining as "feeder systems" decline due to not only safety concerns, but competition from other sports. Do I not let him play until he's older? Or do I encourage him to learn how to play safely from an early age? Will advancements in helmets come far enough, fast enough, that I won't have to worry? What about tradition? After getting to watch his dad play last summer could I keep him away from "following in daddy's footsteps" even if I wanted to? I think watching R flip upside down on a 4in beam is slightly terrifying, how will I feel about my baby boy being hit? And then, of course, there are all the concussion studies...
I can't picture myself ever telling A he can't play football, but I'm curious about the people who have made that decision for their children. Especially those who played themselves. Do you/would you/will you let your son play? Why or why not?